On 13th June 1936 the first locomotive in the last batch of P2’s entered service. Like its sisters, No. 2003 was built at Doncaster and gained the works number 1836. The locomotive and its later sisters were substantially the same as No. 2002 except they had a fully streamlined front-end, the same as fitted to the A4 locomotives that had been developed in introduced the previous September (the only obvious difference on the P2’s was the inclusion of an external steam pipe). Gresley was fond of this new arrangement as scientific study at City and Guilds College, London had shown the advantages in smoke clearing this arrangement offered whilst the LNER publicity department liked the sleek lines of the locomotive and how it fitted into the 1930s modern lifestyle. Unlike the A4s the P2s only ever carried the streamlined valances ahead of the cylinders, behind the cylinders valances were not incorporated allowing greater access to the wheels and motion for maintenance.
No. 2003 when new – The Transport Treasury
The new locomotives were also equipped with straight sided tenders and minor modifications to the cab back including the removing of the beading along the back edge. In this form Lord President became the standard model for the P2 class, with each of the other locomotives receiving minor alterations. After running in the locomotive was allocated to Haymarket Shed before being transferred to Dundee in September 1936 before returning to Haymarket on 23rd October 1942. A month later the engine was recorded as being transferred to the North East Area. The engine once again returned north in March 1944.
Lord President is seen at Edinburgh – A.C.Cawston NRM / SSPL
From new the locomotive carried boiler No. 8796 until December 12th 1942 when during overhaul at Cowlairs it received the boiler No. 8785 from sister engine Earl Marischal. Originally outshopped in full LNER Apple Green livery the engine was repainted in plain black livery during 1942 with ‘NE’ replacing the full ‘LNER’ on the tender side. At the same time the valances forward of the cylinders were removed to make access and maintenance easier during wartime conditions. No. 2003 was the last P2 to be rebuilt as an A2/2. The engine entered the works in September 1944 and its rebuilding was completed on 17th December 1944. Re-entering service at Kings Cross shed it was soon transferred North to Gateshead and then onto Haymarket and a brief spell back at Kings Cross before returning to Haymarket for a three year spell. During this period, in June 1946 the locomotive was renumbered 503 under the Thompson re-numbering scheme. The engine was later renumbered 60503 on 18th September 1948.
No. 60503 as rebuilt by Thompson – P2SLC Collection
When it became apparent that the A2/2 locomotives were not suited to the heavy Scottish work they were transferred South of the border for different duties. No. 2003 was allocated to York on 27th November 1949 followed by a short, one month, spell at Leeds Neville Hill on 27th November 1950 before a return to York. Lord President lasted another nine years until November 1959 when the locomotive was withdrawn and cut up at Doncaster Works.